Both Rarity and the Cakes are attending a wedding in which the former designed the bride’s dress and the latter designed the cake. By sheer coincidence, the two ended up complimenting each other’s design perfectly, leading Rarity to get the idea that if the two worked together as a one-stop wedding boutique business they’d become Equestria-wide famous. Although the Cakes are reluctant and fearful that Rarity will run everything herself, they eventually conclude they’d like the extra income and agree. Soon after, while making a supply run in Canterlot, she runs into Touring Wind: editor of Modern Mare magazine, and manages to negotiate a deal to have her write a story on the business…but only if she can squeeze her in next Friday. Stressed that she can’t get the business fully up and running in time, Rarity returns to Ponyville only to get a bigger shock: they already have their first customers in Applejack’s relatives, Ginger Gold and Apple Crisp, who are getting married on Saturday. Desperate to make the business a glamorous success in a short period of time, Rarity immediately seizes control of the entire plan, ignoring Gold and Crisp’s ideas for the wedding and instead suggesting much more bigger and extravagant ideas to compliment her own for the dress, including a massive strawberry cake with a chocolate waterfall. Yet nothing is able to get done on time and, when Touring Wind arrives, the cake is a disaster and Gold is possibly dying from anaphylactic shock from a cake testing as she’s allergic to strawberries. Touring Wind dismisses it all as third rate and storms out, and Rarity laments that not only did she fail to be a success but ruined the wedding. Yet as it turns out, the Cakes not only anticipated Rarity’s idea wouldn’t work (but wanted to try to see if they could pull it off anyway) and prepared the original cupcake tower concept anyway, but they have a remedy on standby for Gold–saying that the crisis of dealing with twins is much worse than this. They dismiss Rarity to finish something more akin to Gold’s original concept for the dress, and the Cakes employ Spike to stop Touring from leaving town and coming back the next day to see the revised designs. Although they’re more “down-to-earth”, she appreciates the simplicity and charm of new dress and cake anyway and calls it a complete success. Rarity apologizes to the Cakes for trying to dictate everything, but they tell her that they normally admire her self-confidence to take charge…and remind her to take time to listen to others every once in a while.
The IDW comic has put out some interesting storylines over the years, but one thing I don’t abide so well is when they go OOC. This one is a good example. Rarity is my favorite character out of the Mane Six, but even if she wasn’t you have to admit this is kind of odd. I’m not exactly sure where the writers thought Rarity has the character trait where she “does everything her way”. In “Suited for Success”, her problem was taking up too big of a task in trying to perfectly please all of her friends by giving them exactly what they wanted. In “Canterlot Boutique”, she made a mistake not insisting on doing things her way. While she usually puts her own “classy” spin on everything she does it’s only because that’s the way she is. If Applejack was in the same situation, she’d make it more rural and practical. If Fluttershy, more natural and animal-themed, etc. About the only time she ever insists on doing things her way is in her interactions with Sweetie Belle, and so this has the feeling, similar to the comic’s depictions of Luna, as Flanderization…taking one character trait and making it the whole character.
Aside from that, this plotline seems to be similar to “Suited for Success”, and the plot device in the series of promising something to wow someone, it backfiring, and then the characters bounce back to deliver to wow them anyway has been done multiple times. Although it’s supposed to be about Rarity and the Cakes, Rarity pretty much steals the entire show except for near the end. We don’t really learn anything new about them or Rarity or their relationship.
On top of all that, we get treated to a somewhat-amusing but also somewhat-disturbing scene where a pony almost dies from a severe allergic reaction. (Her spirit is leaving her body in one panel…)
This would have been another solidly “average” storyline in spite of all of that to me, but between a rehash of old plotline combined with forcing a character to go OOC to have the traits necessary for the lesson… Nope.
Based on the events of this comic, it’s fairly clear this story is set prior to Season Five’s “Canterlot Boutique”.
The plotline to this story has some similarities to that of “The Founder”, which told the real life story of the restaurant chain “McDonald’s” and how a pushy and controlling salesman ended up more-or-less stealing both the business and creative control of the McDonald’s chain from its true founders.
The cake topper from Great Auntie Applesauce depicts the ponies on it in a more G1 style.
Poor Spike is getting totally ignored being crushed under luggage in one panel. Most of this comic he’s getting pushed around, but he does mention that Ponyville has an official inn.
1.5 Stars out of 5